HANIKA CLAIMS ROUND 8 AT THE RED BULL MOTOGP ROOKIES CUP
Czech rider and championship leader Karel Hanika put the disappointment of a DNF in the final stages of Saturday’s race behind him to be the triumphant winner in the second of the double header on Germany’s famed Sachsenring on Sunday.
Karel Hanika went into the final lap of the 19-lap race on the challenging German circuit in a dominant position and regardless of some classic last lap drama would have surely topped the podium. Hanika had exited the track in the final stages of Saturday’s race leaving the podium glory to Spain’s Jorge Martin, his closest rival for the title, so there was a certain irony in the outcome on Sunday. This time it was Martin who made an inglorious exit from a position amongst the leaders. The net result is that the two rivals leave the German racing weekend after rounds 7-8 of the competition, in exactly the same points position that they arrived with.
“It was an incredibly tough race, perhaps my toughest so far,” Hanika said. “I didn't get a good start and had to work very hard to get through the group. I have to thank the WP guys because they did a great job on sorting out my forks. I could feel the improvement from the first lap and that made a big difference.”
Martin was gracious in defeat and took the mature approach to the race incident that cost him the race. “I started very well and was going away from the group. I tried to make my own pace and it was working well, the gap got bigger. Then I just worked at keeping it there. Towards the end the rear was sliding but on the left, there are so few right hand corners that there was no problem on the right until that lap, it just suddenly let go.”
It was also a good weekend for 14-year-old Italian Stefano Manzi. The diminutive but clearly fearless junior racer was second to Martin on Saturday and on Sunday picked up a podium third to move up a position in the points standings at third behind Martin.
Australian Olly Simpson, who has missed the first half of the season after a crash and injury in the opening rounds of the Cup, also wound up his weekend on a high note. He was in the thick of the action on Saturday until he crashed but on Sunday he held it all together on the tricky German circuit to finish in fifth behind Spain’s Joan Mir.
Results Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Sachsenring – Round 8
All riders on KTM RC250 RB machines
1. Karel Hanika (CZ), 28:31.147 min
2. Manuel Pagliani (I), +9.964 sec
3. Stefano Manzi (I), +10.395
4. Joan Mir (E), +10.631
5. Olly Simpson (AUS), +18.640
Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies after 8 of 14 rounds
1. Hanika, 160 points
2. Jorge Martin (E), 118
3. Manzi, 87
4. Enea Bastianini (I), 83
5. Manuel Pagliani (I), 70